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"Ten Places, Ten Smells"

Exercise #19: "Ten Places, Ten Smells"
For Proust, the scent of a madelein evoked an entire novel. In this exercise, list ten places. (Any places will do: your office, the Taj Majal, whatever pops into your head). After you have listed those ten places, for each one, list a smell that comes to mind. Once you have all ten places and all ten smells, pick the pair that you find most intriguing, then start writing.

  1. My bedroom - linen
  2. My bathroom - lysol
  3. My car - flowers (potpourri bag under the front seat)
  4. Fala's (client) house - honeysuckle (front yard)
  5. Sydney's (client) apartment elevator - sewage (Yay, downtown Nashville!)
  6. My parent's house - paint (They're in the middle of a painting overhaul.)
  7. My parent's basement - fear (You know fear has a certain kind of smell. It's really scary down there!!!)
  8. My dad's workshop - freshly cut wood
  9. My grandmother's basement - dust, moth balls, and mildew (The woman's a pack rat, God love her. She has meat from the 80's in her freezer. I'm not kidding even though I would very much like to admit that I was exaggerating even in the slightest.)
  10. Outside on my porch - dirt, summer air, sweat, oncoming rain
My choice - #10

I have always hated the summertime. Honestly, if the temperature rises anywhere above 75 I'm utterly miserable. I'm not a sweaty person (even if Nashville is having one of those sweat dripping down your back humid days), so that doesn't contribute to my severe loathing of the season; I simply do not like being hot. This is why I'm never out on the porch at my house. At least during the summer anyway.

Don't get me wrong. There's something alluring about summer. Our little section of the world is heated up for a few months of the year, everyone is outside bicycle riding or walking to the fairgrounds to search for that great catch that appears every once in a while out of the blue at the flea market. The sound of crickets chirping at night is more than comforting as well. I sit out on my porch when it's not too hot and just close my eyes, listen to the world around me. Sometimes the ambiance is abruptly interrupted by the circular siren of a police car or of an angry driver honking at the person driving too slowly in front of them. But the interruption passes quickly, and the summer night world resumes again in its sheer simplicity. The only thing that could make it better would be a sky full of stars which, being that I live in the city, is an impossible happening due to severe light pollution.

But it's not really the sights that make nights like these so wonderful. It's the feeling that right then you're living in the moment. There are no chores to do, no bills to pay, no homework to get ready for the next day. You're just sitting on your porch. Listening.

Sometimes I think I was meant to be born in a different era, when "porching" as I like to call it was a more acceptable form of entertainment. Since when did humans become more interested in going out and getting hammered or sitting inside and watching movies? The world is a beautiful place, and it's like Ferris Beuller said: "If you don't stop and look around once in a while, you might miss it."


Along those same lines, RIP John Hughes. I grew up with his movies, and he touched my life in more ways than one. He will be missed.

That is all for today.

Peace and see you tomorrow.


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